Plugs

Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

Jason Fischer has a story appearing in Jack Dann’s new anthology Dreaming Again.

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

Sara Genge’s story “Godtouched” may be found in Strange Horizons.

The problem, you see, is the endings

by Jonathan Wood

INT. DAY. TEMPLE OF THE MUSE


A large, opulent, but dusty chamber.  Vaguely classical.  Tapestries hang and heavy persian rugs spread out.  They are a little tatty.  A woman reclines on a chaise-lounge.  She is wearing a toga and slightly resembles my wife.  I enter.


ME

Hello!


MUSE

Oh.  Hello.


ME

Yes, hi.  Just a quick visit, I’m afraid.  Lots to do.  To write, actually.  That’s the reason I’m here, you see.  I’ve got this piece due for Daily Cabal so I was-


MUSE

How’s the novel coming on?


ME

What?  The…  Oh, the novel?  Well… yeah.  I mean.  It was going pretty well.  Was going… yeah.  You know?


MUSE

Was going?


ME

Yeah…  Yeah, I was going pretty good on it.  Got 12k down.  Good start, I thought.  But then… I don’t know.  I was playing with the voice.  Trying to get some things…  I don’t know.  It just, you know…  Just sort of ground to a halt.


MUSE

Ground to a halt?


ME

Yeah.  But, well… you know.  I mean…  Anyway.  So, there’s this Daily Cabal piece.  And it’s due tomorrow, so I was really hoping you-


MUSE

Your inspiration for the novel—it wasn’t enough?


ME

What?  No!  No that’s not what I’m saying at all.  No, no, no.  Not the inspiration.  Of course not.  Me.  Just me.  I didn’t…  I couldn’t…


[Silence.  Of the frosty variety]


ME

So this Daily Cabal piece…


MUSE

How is it going to end?


ME

What?  The ending?  Well, you know,  Kind of dependent on the beginning.  And that’s where, you know, I was really kind of hoping you could, maybe…


MUSE

Not worried it’s just going to grind to a halt?


ME

What?  No.  I mean…. No.  Of course not.  If you could just…


[More silence]


ME

Just a little…  Look, it won’t grind to a halt.  I just…  The novel…  It…


[More silence]


ME

Look…


[Silence]


ME

Please?


[Silence]


ME

Just a little…


[Silence]


ME

If you could just…


[Silence]


ME

I mean…


[Silence]


ME

Please?


[Silence]


ME

Nothing?


[Silence]


ME

Oh wait…  I see… I…  Oh…  You’re…  Oh…


[Silence]


ME

Crap.

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